Wednesday, October 31, 2007

White light

Stress reached critical mass last night, I think. It had been a very stressful day at work, but I've always been able to handle it pretty well. But I don't know what else it could have been. I had meetings, and conference calls, and a really difficult project that I've been trying to get out the door, and everything was okay until about 5:00 which I stopped and realized that I felt AWFUL.

I always hold my stress in my stomach, and when I'm really stressed out it's like I need to stretch it out, like I'm feeling all hunched over. I would have laid on the couch, but there was a guy in the office for an interview, so I didn't think that would look too professional. I actually considered just lying on the floor in my office, but thought no, I'm just going to go home.

So I gathered up my stuff, told anyone who might need me that I'd had enough for the day, and I took off. Driving home, I felt so awful that I thought maybe I had food poisoning or something. I didn't feel nauseated, but my stomach hurt so bad that I couldn't imagine it was just stress.

I got home, crawled into bed, and slept for a couple of hours, felt better, got up, ate some rice, felt bad again, and went back to bed. Bob had been out, and called at about 10:30 and said he was coming home, was going to stop at McDonald's, and did I want anything?

I said no, but he brought me a chicken sandwich anyway (so sweet, isn't he?), and brought it up to me in the bedroom with a few of his fries. I sat up in bed and ate it (and shared it with Pyewacket), and felt quite a bit better, so I got up and got on the computer, and stayed up until about 1:00, then went back up to bed.

This morning I felt fine, just a little stressed out. I'm really not sure what I can do to handle it better. Bob said I need to remember to breathe, and I know that I need to do that. He was also giving me some kind of meditation thing where he said I needed to visualize a white light starting at the top of my head and continuing down through all my body parts, but I think he was just making that up.

I didn't really do much for Halloween except eat a lot of little candy bars. I did remember to put up my witch sign at work about halfway through October, and I went back in the storage room and found my little plastic pumpkin this morning. I also wore glow-in-the-dark skeleton earrings. Bob's working late tonight, and if we do get any trick-or-treaters, I'll be surprised. I'm expecting a quiet night.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chicken soup

Thirty-one years ago today:

I don't know what we're going to do tonight. In the past, we've always gone to Stephenson's Apple Farm for our anniversary, but they went out of business last year. I don't really want to do any big elaborate deal, so I suggested we go get Mexican or Chinese. Then Bob got a cold, and I'm getting it, too, and this morning before he left for work, he said, why don't we just stay home tonight since we're both sick, and have soup.

So we may spend our anniversary at home eating chicken soup. Which would actually be fine.

When I was talking about short story collections yesterday, I forgot to mention that I have a TON of short story collections on my Palm. I have Palm Reader, and I get quite a few books from Fictionwise. I have a subscription to Azimov's there, so I get that magazine monthly, plus I have a few other collections that I've, um, collected.

A couple of Neil Gaiman's story collections, something of Kelly Link's, some Stephen King, plus a few multi-author compilations. As well as a few Charles De Lint novels, more Stephen King, Louise Marley, Neal Stephenson, the first four Harry Potter books . . . I have a 256MB memory chip (I think it was the one that originally came with my camera, which I've subsequently replaced with a larger one), and less than a quarter of it is full. It's a comfort to me and my obsessive nature that I can carry around an entire library in my purse and avoid one of my biggest fears -- boredom.

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Monday, October 22, 2007

Late night

I stayed up too late last night, trying to finish the book I'm reading (Still Summer, by Jacquelyn Mitchard) I wasn't able to finish it; I knew I needed to get to bed, so I reluctantly put it down at 12:30 and went up to bed. Bob had gone to bed hours before--he needed to get up before dawn this morning to get to work early and get some things done before the store opened.

When his alarm went off at 4:30 or something--some ungodly hour like that--I didn't even wake up. I had a hard time waking up when my alarm went off at 6:30, both because I'd been up too late, and because it was still full dark. And raining.

Standing in the shower (I did eventually get up), I was thinking that I could tolerate the rain and snow and cold temperatures better if it wasn't for having to get up in the dark. And then I realized that we never "fell back" this year -- this is the year that Daylight Saving Time lasts an extra month, right? Okay, I checked -- DST ends on the first Sunday in November. So in a couple of weeks we'll gain an hour (or get back the hour we lost, I guess), and it will be a little lighter in the mornings, thank goodness. Although that means it will be darker earlier in the evening, I guess. It's all tradeoffs.

In spite of the rocky start, I was pretty productive this morning. I dried (and hung up and/or folded) a load of laundry, ate breakfast (a bagel with veggie cream cheese and a glass of orange juice), and made lunch for today and tomorrow--Spanish rice with tomatoes and white beans, peaches for dessert, and cottage cheese for an afternoon snack. I haven't been eating very well lately, and by that I don't mean I haven't been eating, I mean I've been eating crap, so I'm making an effort to do a little better. I actually don't usually do too badly at lunch, but it could always use improvement.

I figure rice, vegetables and fruit for awhile would be good.

I went to the library over the weekend and ended up checking out a TON of books. I always check the "New Books" shelves, and found several things there that I wanted to read. Whether I'll actually read them or not is anyone's guess, but it's nice to have options.

Almost everything I got were books of short stories--"Year's Best Science Fiction," "Asimov's Science Fiction: 30th Anniversary Anthology," "Best American Fantasy," "Best New Paranormal Romance," "Year's Best Fantasy," "The Best American Mystery Stories," and "The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year." Whew. I actually had no idea that I got that many short story collections.

I actually have kind of a problem with short stories. I got all of those books because they all contained stories by some of my favorite authors--Connie Willis, Kage Baker, Elizabeth Hand are the ones that I remember. Short stories are hard for me because they're, well, short. In general, I prefer long books, and when I'm reading short stories I tend to read them too quickly, I think, because . . . well, I don't really know why.

Anyway, just another of my weird quirks. I pick up short story books because I both love them and hate them. Love them because there are often a bunch of things by several of my favorite writers in one volume, hate them because the stories are just too short to be satisfying. Novellas are good -- shorter than a novel, but longer than a short story. Some of those are just right.

I was thrilled to see that Connie Willis has a new Christmas story in the December issue of Azimov's. All of her work is wonderful, but I especially love the Christmas stories.

I was also thrilled to see that there's a new collection of her short stories coming out -- The Winds of Marble Arch. I've read most of them, of course, but it's always nice to have them collected in one place. Normally I would get a book like that at the library, but I decided I had to have this one. It's published by Subterranean Press, so it's a limited edition, and I had a moment of panic that I actually wouldn't be able to buy it. But Amazon had it available, so I snatched it up. It should be here today, to add to the pile of short story collections that I built on Saturday. I might read it first, though.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Not dead

I've had several people ask if I'm okay, so I thought I should at least post something here -- I'm here, I'm fine, not dead, just busy. And the change into autumn is always difficult for me -- getting up in the dark, and coming home in the dark are hard, and when I get home I don't have a lot of energy for doing much of anything. So anyway, nothing going on, just work work work, and even when I'm not working, I'm working -- either doing freelance web stuff or making jewelry or putting jewelry up for sale. So things are fine, good even, just busy.

Bob is the "Employee of the Month" at work this month. They have a program where customers (and other employees, maybe, I'm not sure) can fill out a comment card commending an employee, and you get a gift card, and once a month they have a luncheon for people who've received them. They had the monthly luncheon yesterday, and Bob was there, and he was named employee of the month. I told him, "You're my employee of the month every month."


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Monday, October 01, 2007

Weekend away

We took a quick trip down to Bennett Spring this weekend. Bob got both Saturday and Sunday off -- a rare occurrence -- so we decided to take advantage of it. It was kind of a bad time, I had a LOT of work that I needed to do, and I was feeling kind of stressed out. But it's never really a good time, so I decided it would be okay to go. I took my newly-repaired laptop so that I could do some work if I needed to. The park has a wifi connection in the dining lodge, so I was able to download my email a couple of times and be sure that there were no crises (there weren't).

We didn't stay in the park this time, but in a lodge close by where we've stayed before. This was the view out the back window of the motel room on Saturday morning:

Bob had gotten up early and gone out to fish while I was still sleeping. He came back, and we went up to the lodge for breakfast, then went back to the river. I sat in a lawn chair and read, and it was very peaceful:

Then a big truck pulled up with a load of canoes, and then the canoeists themselves showed up.

They loaded up and (presumably) took off -- I couldn't see anything but canoes!

Then they left, leaving behind some of the canoes for people who were coming later, I guess.

Shortly afterward, Bob decided to go fish in the park, by the dam -- I don't know whether he was afraid he'd hook a canoeist or not, but probably.

With strategic cropping, it looks like he was alone out there:

I didn't think it was very crowded, but he thought it was. Of course, everyone was fly fishing, which takes a lot more room than just dropping a hook in the water, I guess.

It was a very nice weekend, if short. It would be nice to spend a week there; maybe we'll get to do that again sometime. On Sunday we went by the nature interpretive center, which was fun. We hadn't been there in a long time.

We got home mid-afternoon on Sunday, and I did my work, and everything was fine. I'm still a little stressed out, but it definitely helped to get away, if only briefly.

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